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The 100 top things you honestly don't need to do before you die
October 7, 2013 9:48 AM   Subscribe

The only films from the BFI's list that you must watch are Some Like It Hot, The Godfather and Singin' in the Rain. Of 100 Greatest Novels, you can happily ignore all of them except Scoop and The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie. I am assuming you've already read To Kill a Mockingbird for O-level. You must never swim with dolphins. If they ever want to swim with you, I'm sure they'll let you know.
posted by Chrysostom (144 comments total) 24 users marked this as a favorite

 
Breaking Bad was totally worth 61 hours of my life. And it'll be worth the 61 hour rewatch some day as well. I think the point is: do what you like, and discard recommendations that aren't for you. There's nothing to obligate you to finish a book that you're not into, or stay past intermission at a play you aren't enjoying.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 9:52 AM on October 7, 2013 [4 favorites]


That reminds me, I need to file another extension to the Television for Smart People Committee on watching "The Wire." I'll get to it, I swear! I just need another extension!
posted by infinitywaltz at 9:55 AM on October 7, 2013 [11 favorites]


For the non-British: This guy presents and produces a show called Pointless, in which contestants try to find answers to general knowledge questions that nobody in the show's public survey has already given.

He makes lists of trivia for a living, basically.
posted by MuffinMan at 9:58 AM on October 7, 2013 [5 favorites]


I am always dismayed when I see things like that book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die. To me, it basically screams at me "your taste in music is utterly uninformed and therefore worthless, and furthermore you will never be able to catch up so why even bother trying."
posted by showbiz_liz at 9:59 AM on October 7, 2013 [3 favorites]


The 100 things lists are never things you, the reader, must do before you die. They are things the writer must list to get published. I save time not only by not wasting time doing things on these random lists, but also by not wasting time reading them.
posted by headnsouth at 10:00 AM on October 7, 2013 [7 favorites]


I love those 100 things you must stuff. If I've done some of them I feel culturally rich. If I haven't I get to write off the author as a cultural snob while I am a man of the people keeping it real.

More to the point though, they never preface with the key question: have you snuggled your cat today? Higher pursuits are worthless until you get life's basics completed.
posted by MuffinMan at 10:02 AM on October 7, 2013 [16 favorites]


I would recommend checking out YouTube if you have not already.
posted by KokuRyu at 10:02 AM on October 7, 2013 [13 favorites]


Huh; showbiz liz, I take those things as a sort of "list of recommendations for if you are looking for new stuff." Every so often I do go through and check out a book from the list that I've not read yet.

It helps, though, to have an attitude where you forgive yourself for stopping if the music/book/movie just plain sucks. I've done that with rather a few books by now.

Also you realize fairly soon that you've already listened to a lot of the albums in question anyway, so you're ahead of the game.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 10:03 AM on October 7, 2013 [2 favorites]


I am always dismayed when I see things like that book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die.

I kind of like flipping through them, because I am pretty sure out of the list of 1001 anyone can find an album that they have listed to and thought was crap. This lets you sneer at the taste of the writer and go on your way.
posted by GenjiandProust at 10:05 AM on October 7, 2013 [5 favorites]


top 50 television dramas

This is discouraging. I'm watching Cracker and Inspector Morse right now but they gotta stop making new shit so I can catch up with the rest of the stuff on the list.

Also, I've watched like 5 versions of Bleak House already. Stop making more.
posted by Ad hominem at 10:07 AM on October 7, 2013 [2 favorites]


I also feel like the hundreds of hours I spent watching Stargate have been wasted. Someone put it on a list so I can feel justified. Also, put Justified on a list as well. If you don't I will publish my own list of top 50 things I've done.

thnx list makers.
posted by Ad hominem at 10:09 AM on October 7, 2013 [1 favorite]


you'll be waiting for your children to hurry up and get their shoes on for 11,850

Why does this take you so long!? I know you know how to put them on! No you can't watch another TV show!
posted by tylerkaraszewski at 10:11 AM on October 7, 2013 [3 favorites]


An economist taught me that the smartest thing you can do is be willing to leave bad movies and toss bad books into the trash. Life is too short.

(But I still read Metafilter threads to the end.)
posted by anotherpanacea at 10:12 AM on October 7, 2013 [7 favorites]


I also feel like the hundreds of hours I spent watching Stargate have been wasted. Someone put it on a list so I can feel justified.

101 Shows Which Ran For A Lot of Seasons.
posted by kmz at 10:13 AM on October 7, 2013 [7 favorites]


And I think Wuthering Heights is the only Emily Brontë novel worth reading (someone will rise to this, just you wait and see).

Hmmmm, I don't know much about this guy -- is he making a joke, because Emily Brontë wrote only one novel, or is he really confusing her with her sisters?
posted by JanetLand at 10:14 AM on October 7, 2013 [5 favorites]


So pointless is a reverse family feud?
posted by Carillon at 10:15 AM on October 7, 2013


I also feel like the hundreds of hours I spent watching Stargate have been wasted. Someone put it on a list so I can feel justified.

Shows I Have Never Seen But Have Opinions About Anyway Because Of Their Ubiquity In Fandom

Shows For Which I Could Compare "Fanon" and "Canon" At Length Despite Never Having Seen An Episode
posted by Frowner at 10:18 AM on October 7, 2013 [6 favorites]


An economist taught me that the smartest thing you can do is be willing to leave bad movies and toss bad books into the trash.

Gene Wolfe was asked why he had a reputation among SF authors as a nice guy. He said, "I have no compulsion to finish a book I'm not enjoying. So if you ask me what I think of your book, I can always honestly say either 'I loved it' or 'I haven't read it'."
posted by straight at 10:19 AM on October 7, 2013 [36 favorites]


So which album am I supposed to listen to 1001 times before I die? Because I'm pretty sure by now that it's not "Cracked Rear View" but I'd really like to have confirmation before I restart this process.
posted by Navelgazer at 10:19 AM on October 7, 2013 [5 favorites]


Really anything beyond floating silently in your vat of nutrient slurry is just self-indulgence, isn't it?
posted by R. Schlock at 10:19 AM on October 7, 2013 [12 favorites]


So pointless is a reverse family feud?


Yeah, basically. You have to provide the answers that are both correct and chosen by as few people as possible. A "Pointless" answer is one that is correct but nobody chose. It is what you are really going for...
posted by vacapinta at 10:19 AM on October 7, 2013


I was actually expecting a 100 point list. Where is my list?

(Then again, I guess "reading top 100 lists on the web" would be pretty high on such a hypothetical list.)
posted by ymgve at 10:20 AM on October 7, 2013


Interesting tag; I thought the point of this list was the exact opposite of "apathy." Seems like it's about choosing to do stuff you like, rather than wasting time on stuff other people say you should like. Living for yourself rather than other people is the cure for apathy, in my experience.
posted by vytae at 10:21 AM on October 7, 2013 [1 favorite]


Hmmmm, I don't know much about this guy -- is he making a joke

Yes. He's got a very dry humour and produces a general knowledge quiz show in which he also presents as the resident know-it-all.
posted by MuffinMan at 10:22 AM on October 7, 2013 [1 favorite]


I have not yet seen an episode of Breaking Bad or Mad Men. Mostly because I don't really watch that much TV... I also find that I start getting super antsy in movie theaters or during a movie, so I only see movies that I REALLY REALLY want to see.

I'll put down a book (or throw it across a room) if I dislike it. I have no compunction to finish a book I'm not engaged with.

Most of my so-called bucket list things have to do with travel and otherwise making myself happy. Whatever is on other people's lists is for them to decide and if that happens to be Breaking Bad, then gey gezundaheit (go in health).
posted by Sophie1 at 10:22 AM on October 7, 2013


I guess my theory is that these lists are really about making people feel good about time already spent.

The time spent watching Sopranos, The Wire, Breaking Bad, Cracker, Red Riding, Jewel in the Crown, Citizen Kane, 50 obscure westerns nobody but the people who work at AMC have seen, has been well spent because these things are culturally significant.

So really, these lists are not for those who havn't watched, those people aren't going to invest thousands of hours because of a list right? They are for the people who have already invested thousands of hours and got nothing much out of it.
posted by Ad hominem at 10:27 AM on October 7, 2013 [2 favorites]


Every time I try to dive into one of those "101 things you must do/see/read/eat before you die" I find the first thing I try I don't like. I didn't like Some Like It Hot (though I did like Marilyn), I got bored reading Catch 22, and I tried listening to a Velvet Underground album and hated it. I'm not saying those things are bad, they just weren't for me and not liking it made me feel like I'm some sort of un-cultured slob.

So I immediately give up on the list and decide to just live my life and like the stuff I like.

I loved Breaking Bad and The Wire, so there's that.
posted by bondcliff at 10:29 AM on October 7, 2013


1 Thing you must never do before dying: Twerk.
posted by blue_beetle at 10:32 AM on October 7, 2013 [1 favorite]


Dolphins are basically just sea-rapists anyway.
posted by Artw at 10:33 AM on October 7, 2013 [1 favorite]


You've only got one thing to do before you die: Live. But people still manage to screw it up.
posted by LastOfHisKind at 10:33 AM on October 7, 2013 [3 favorites]


I didn't like Some Like It Hot

WHAT WHY HOW WHY HOW WHAT but why

I was going to say "yeah of course everyone has their own particular tastes and some things are just not for everyone and that is okay" but no it is not okay, I was wrong.

BIENSTOCK!
posted by elizardbits at 10:33 AM on October 7, 2013 [7 favorites]


I didn't like Some Like It Hot

Well, nobody's perfect.
posted by CarolynG at 10:36 AM on October 7, 2013 [42 favorites]


nobody's per-DAMNIT
posted by The Whelk at 10:36 AM on October 7, 2013 [9 favorites]


Artw: "Dolphins are basically just sea-rapists anyway."

Your mother, Trebek!
posted by Chrysostom at 10:37 AM on October 7, 2013 [5 favorites]


I didn't like Some Like It Hot (though I did like Marilyn)

I didn't like it either. It is a silly piece of fluff with over-the-top acting and a ridiculous premise.
I think I only watched it because it gets a lot of mentions. But I really have no idea why...
posted by vacapinta at 10:37 AM on October 7, 2013 [1 favorite]


I was going to say "yeah of course everyone has their own particular tastes and some things are just not for everyone and that is okay" but no it is not okay, I was wrong.

This is exactly what I mean. Thanks for making me feel bad, elizardbits.

I just didn't laugh, not the way, say, Airplane! makes me laugh. As I said, I loved Marilyn in it and it made me understand why she is admired so much.

I have found, almost without exception, that comedies made before I was born (1969) do very little for me. It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World is one of the few exceptions. I love that movie.
posted by bondcliff at 10:37 AM on October 7, 2013 [1 favorite]


It might be to do with seeing it for the first time at the wrong age, but for me, Airplane! might as well be a David Lynch film.
posted by LogicalDash at 10:39 AM on October 7, 2013 [2 favorites]


I kind of hate how the term "bucket list" has become part of the vernacular.
posted by KokuRyu at 10:39 AM on October 7, 2013 [17 favorites]


Thank you, vacapinta. That is exactly how I felt about it.
posted by bondcliff at 10:39 AM on October 7, 2013


I kind of hate how the term "bucket list" has become part of the vernacular.

It's pronounced "boo-kay".
posted by Atom Eyes at 10:43 AM on October 7, 2013 [37 favorites]


If you want a love it/hate it movie, I don't think there is a more apt movie to suggest than Holy Motors.

It has a fantastic trailer. My god, it's full of stars. Critics loved it. It is completely bonkers and I spent the entire thing trying to find a plot so I could work out what the hell was going on. I failed. It is, I suspect, entirely impossible to watch it and think it was just OK. It's either pretentious crap lacking any sense or a joyous, rule breaking triumph.

Note: I am not endorsing it. I cannot give you back the two hours of your life you spend watching it if you come away scratching your head like I did.
posted by MuffinMan at 10:45 AM on October 7, 2013 [2 favorites]


I agree emphatically with the overall point of the article, and pretty emphatically with its tone. For me, there are only three movies that matter: Treasure of the Sierra Madre, Night of the Iguana, and Under The Volcano, and I've seen them all. Watched the last one again Saturday night. Will watch it annually at least, as long as I live. There are a few books that Matter: Moby Dick, the afore-mentoned Volcano thing, and probably Dog Years. I will gladly re-read them before undertaking Infinite Jest.

Mostly though, here's the problem: I go and do constantly, to the point of living in a state of near-exhaustion 5 out of 6 days. My personal List Of Things To Do dismays in the way in which it does not diminish, ever. I live haunted by the unaccomplished things, and I wrestle with my physical inability to not DO 18 hours a day. Sorry, there are just some books that will go unread and movies that will go unwatched.
Lately #1 on my List Of Things To Do Right Now is: Close the fucking browser window, asshole.
posted by Devils Rancher at 10:46 AM on October 7, 2013 [3 favorites]


Someone should make a list of 100 things you have to do before you die, with the twist being that you can actually get through the entire list over a free weekend.

I.e., you HAVE to listen to this 3 minute Clash song... next, watch Guy Maddin's 6-minute Heart of the World... next, spend an hour and a half playing Journey, followed by 20 minutes of Passage... take an hour to read Joyce's The Dead... etc.
posted by naju at 10:47 AM on October 7, 2013 [16 favorites]


I have found, almost without exception, that comedies made before I was born (1969) do very little for me.

For the most part, YES. I think maybe a lot of those movies just don't "translate" well, so to speak. I don't necessarily want to put them in the same category as mindless yet apparently successful shit like those Grown-Ups movies, but I think those will also be similarly incomprehensible to people who are in their 30s and 40s in 2050.

It's also difficult for me to really pinpoint the difference between a lot of what are considered "classic" films which, like you, I find tedious and unappealing, and the few that are wonderful. Why will I stop everything to watch A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, but can't possibly be enticed to sit through any Jerry Lewis film even once? It is a mystery.
posted by elizardbits at 10:49 AM on October 7, 2013


While I have always distrusted those who I came to call "checklist people", I see no harm in the escapist fluff of these lists. A more realistic list would be called something like "100 Asses You Have To Kiss Before You Die", but that one didn't focus-group very well.
posted by thelonius at 10:50 AM on October 7, 2013 [2 favorites]


I haven't seen a single episode of Breaking Bad, The Wire, The Sopranos, The West Wing, Lost, Deadwood or indeed anything else that's been on everyone else's must-see list over the past decade.

I am, however, about thirty hours into watching the full thirteen seasons of King of the Hill. When I get to the end of series 13, I might just start again at series 1.

I just like it.
posted by pipeski at 10:52 AM on October 7, 2013 [7 favorites]


Okay, he says this:

But if you wanted to watch every episode of the Guardian's Top 50 TV series of all time, that would take up another 2,080 of your precious hours.

But! There have been 4723 EastEnders episodes (#48 on the list). This means if you don't watch EastEnders, you will be in negative, life-extending time. Which you can use to watch Breaking Bad again.
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 10:55 AM on October 7, 2013 [3 favorites]


It's also difficult for me to really pinpoint the difference between a lot of what are considered "classic" films which, like you, I find tedious and unappealing, and the few that are wonderful.

I've thought about this a bit and a theory a friend put forth was that older cinema was still attempting to replicate acting as it would be done in a theater, or in older silent movies where overdone expressions were needed to effectively communicate ideas, because a lot of the actors came from those backgrounds. The result is a lot of overacting in some of the older movies which I find hard to watch.
posted by C'est la D.C. at 10:58 AM on October 7, 2013


Why will I stop everything to watch A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, but can't possibly be enticed to sit through any Jerry Lewis film even once?

Very likely it's because you're not from France.
posted by escabeche at 10:58 AM on October 7, 2013 [1 favorite]


Life as a series of acheivements to be unlocked — no thanks.
posted by Tom-B at 11:01 AM on October 7, 2013 [2 favorites]


All of you people think wrong things.
posted by The Whelk at 11:03 AM on October 7, 2013 [5 favorites]


All of you people think wrong things.

You're wrong.
posted by bondcliff at 11:03 AM on October 7, 2013 [2 favorites]


Guys, don't forget sex. Everybody should try to have sex before they die.
posted by Devils Rancher at 11:10 AM on October 7, 2013 [6 favorites]


The thing to remember about any of these lists is that there is no god, there's no life after death and all your precious memories teaching dolphins to read at Maccu Piccu will disappear with you, so why bother?
posted by MartinWisse at 11:10 AM on October 7, 2013 [3 favorites]


You're wrong.

Yes, exactly, and I do wish you'd make up a comprehensive list of stuff to be wrong about so I could just do them all at once and get it over with.

100) Post a typo on an internet forum.
99) Say "no" to your wife.
98) Forget to break at the stoplight in front of a police station.
.
.
.
posted by sammyo at 11:11 AM on October 7, 2013


Working on list:
"101 MetaFilter threads to read before you die, because reading all of them MAY kill you"
posted by oneswellfoop at 11:13 AM on October 7, 2013 [2 favorites]


I like the idea of anti-list lists, honoring things that don't need to be done or that shouldn't have been. Ideally there would be an anti-Buzzfeed of Web publishing, a ceaseless source of critique and ridicule, for this.

55 Twee Postcard Experiences That Will Only Lend You a Counterfeit Individuality
100 Things A List Said You Had to Do Before You Died That, When You Die, You'll Regret Having Done
1,037 Lists You Needn't Bother Reading
The 7 Kinds of Guilt You Can Avoid By Not Reading Clickbait
posted by RogerB at 11:13 AM on October 7, 2013 [12 favorites]


1) Forget something in your top 100 list and have the entire Internet tell you how wrong you are.
posted by bondcliff at 11:13 AM on October 7, 2013


* So that's like, at least another 5 minutes you'll never get back.
posted by Devils Rancher at 11:17 AM on October 7, 2013


0. You don't have to read everything you see on the internet
posted by bdz at 11:18 AM on October 7, 2013 [1 favorite]


Breaking Bad was totally worth 61 hours of my life.

I have never watched one second of Breaking Bad, and with all the inescapable internet hoopla about it it's probably wasted at least 61 minutes of my life.
posted by Foosnark at 11:23 AM on October 7, 2013 [5 favorites]


I've thought about this a bit and a theory a friend put forth was that older cinema was still attempting to replicate acting as it would be done in a theater, or in older silent movies where overdone expressions were needed to effectively communicate ideas, because a lot of the actors came from those backgrounds. The result is a lot of overacting in some of the older movies which I find hard to watch.

I don't know. watched It, 1927, featuring Clara Bow (and no evil clowns), and found it immeasurably more modern and relatable than, say, Bringing Up Baby, which was just insufferable. It felt like it could have been a rom com from the roaring '80s. Baby just made me feel like I'd picked the wrong Hepburn.
posted by darksasami at 11:24 AM on October 7, 2013 [1 favorite]


I just keep a list of things I want to do after I die. This makes my current life goal to procrastinate which I am excellent at.
posted by srboisvert at 11:30 AM on October 7, 2013 [7 favorites]


The thing to remember about old movies is that even the most popular still had plenty of folks who didn't like them at the time. So if you don't like say "Bringing Up Baby" it may be because you have similar taste in films as all the folks who hated it in 1938, rather than because it somehow doesn't translate to modern sensibilities. Many of those folks may have vastly preferred "It" too.
posted by jetsetsc at 11:31 AM on October 7, 2013 [2 favorites]


Is Dr. Strangelove a comedy? I certainly laughed. That's pre-1969.
posted by philip-random at 11:36 AM on October 7, 2013 [2 favorites]


I just keep a list of things I want to do after I die.

1. Lie down in a box and get some fucking rest.
posted by Devils Rancher at 11:37 AM on October 7, 2013 [3 favorites]


Is Dr. Strangelove a comedy? I certainly laughed. That's pre-1969.

I did like that one, but then again that's Kubrick. I also liked Paths of Glory.
posted by bondcliff at 11:37 AM on October 7, 2013


I agree that the 100 or 1000 this or that to do/see/hear/read before you die is an annoying trope. That said, it's kind of nice to have well-curated lists around, because I like to expand my cultural horizons, and sometimes these things are useful for that. It'd be better, probably, if they were more of the form "100 pretty good books to consider reading if you like x." In which case, the MetaWiki is probably a better resource. The 'before you die' adds this weird judgement type thing to it.

On the recordings though, really, that list I'm kind of personally okay with. It's good to get a real feel for music history and for top-notch performances of great symphonies and such. Granted, I'm an avid classical music fan and think you would be too if you just gave it a chance. But really, 1001 records is hardly more than 1000 hours of your life, which is not that much. Far fewer hours than it would take to read 1000 books or whatever.
posted by Lutoslawski at 11:42 AM on October 7, 2013 [1 favorite]


Pretty sure the definition of a personality is just a collection of things one had to do that nobody else ever has to do like:
Read every Gene Wolfe book
Watched every Marx Brothers movie
Played in the World Series of Poker
Put canned peas in my box mac&cheese
Swam with an uninterested shark
etc etc etc

The canon is great, there are many uses to a canon, not least that it is a useful guide for jumping off into the depths which is the rest of your life.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 11:49 AM on October 7, 2013 [2 favorites]


"WHAT WHY HOW WHY HOW WHAT but why

I was going to say "yeah of course everyone has their own particular tastes and some things are just not for everyone and that is okay" but no it is not okay, I was wrong.

BIENSTOCK!
"

The casual homophobia and misogyny really bugged me in a way I didn't expect. Similar to how Mickey Rooney's totally racist dude in Breakfast at Tiffany's bugged me too much to get through it.
posted by klangklangston at 11:51 AM on October 7, 2013 [1 favorite]


I understand why people say you should throw out half-read books or walk out of half-watched movies if you're not enjoying them. But I disagree. I probably started and failed to make it through A Wrinkle in Time five times when I was a kid. But I knew it was a Classic of Youth Literature and so I kept trying until I did, and thank god. Ditto for Beloved, which I was totally unable to read on my own and only was able to read when I was assigned it for a class. And then, forced to read it, I recognized that it was amazing. I would regret not having had that experience.

Yes, tastes differ, and we are allowed to dislike what is officially To Be Liked. At the same time, if I don't care for something, and tons of smart people I respect think it's great, I think it's fair at least to consider the possibility that I might be missing something which, if I work harder, I'll find.

I mean, I've watched the first seven episodes of The Wire and didn't really feel moved to watch more. But I probably will someday watch more, because many people I trust value so highly the experience of having watched it. Is that wrong? Am I a sucker or wasting my life if I give that series a little more of a shot? I say no.

After all, reading and watching and listening isn't just a passive sorting of art into "art I like" and "art I don't like" -- in part you are changing yourself, and what you like, by engaging with the art. That's part of what it's for!
posted by escabeche at 11:51 AM on October 7, 2013 [6 favorites]


5 million people, in real life and online, told me I needed to see "Beasts of the Southern Wild" so I rented it and I did something I rarely do:I didn't even finish it. Usually I'll stick it out (hey, I watched Lost) but something about that movie just didn't do it for me. And I'm having trouble articulating why, exactly. Maybe I wanted it to be more fantastical. Or less fantastical. I just don't know.
posted by Biblio at 11:54 AM on October 7, 2013 [2 favorites]


My favorite things are never on those lists. Either my tastes are too highbrow or too lowbrow to make it.

(Singing in the Rain is a delight though.)
posted by vespabelle at 12:09 PM on October 7, 2013


My favorite things are never on those lists. Either my tastes are too highbrow or too lowbrow to make it.

Thank god (or DARPA) the Internet allows us to connect with people with similar but obscure tastes that will never make it into the canon, is all I can say.
posted by KokuRyu at 12:21 PM on October 7, 2013


I have found, almost without exception, that comedies made before I was born (1969) do very little for me.

Phew, I'm not the only one! For me, a lot of it is that stagey Mid-Atlantic voice every single actor spoke with. It kills my suspension of disbelief.

Also, I was sort of a weird snobby kid, and when I was young I tended to instantly hate any live-action movies made before my era. You could not get me to sit through Mary Poppins or Swiss Family Robinson because those were for babies and dorks. However, I couldn't accurately date anything animated, so cartoons were all right by me as long as they were in color.
posted by Metroid Baby at 12:24 PM on October 7, 2013


I like Breaking Bad. It's a quality drama, but no one has to like everything.

However, this attitude bugs me. I remember one of the dumber Family Guy clips I saw someone post (in response to a FB discussion about Breaking Bad) was some insipid joke where Peter is watching TV and the TV goes "You like Breaking Bad and The Wire. You will talk about nothing but how good Breaking Bad and The Wire are." and Peter responds robotically, as though he were hypnotized.

Aside from the deep irony that Family Guy of all things is critiquing other TV shows, I was reminded of that clip when I read this article, and the attitude really rubs me the wrong way: it's not a matter of "I tried watching [popular show], but it isn't for me", but more this foot-stompy "You can't tell ME what to do! You're making me feel stupid for not watching it, so I'm gonna call YOU stupid! *stomps foot* so there!"

I mean, I get it to a point, I'm indifferent towards Baseball, Dr. Who, and Pink Floyd, and it can get annoying when people in your immediate company will not shut up about it, but at no point does it make me resentful in this fashion. It is truly bizarre to me.
posted by Uther Bentrazor at 12:25 PM on October 7, 2013


I'll have you know the first time I walked into a bookstore outside of an English speaking country I wept at the thought of all the "mustreads" in that store that I would never read. Even after I got better at Korean and could muddle my way through monographs on the Japanese colonial period, it was very very clear that I would never read fast enough in Korean. Whereas, in my optimism, I kinda believe if I just read faster I'll get to all the good books in English.

shhh. don't say a word.

posted by spamandkimchi at 12:25 PM on October 7, 2013 [3 favorites]


I love many old movies, but Some Like It Hot never did anything for me. Most of those classic movie lists don't include the best little well written movies.

Best men dressing as women for a reason classic movies:

I Was A Male War Bride with Cary Grant.

Love Crazy with William Powell and Myrna Loy. (The only time he ever appeared in a movie without his moustache!)
posted by monopas at 12:25 PM on October 7, 2013 [3 favorites]


You could not get me to sit through Mary Poppins or Swiss Family Robinson

Two of the funniest movies ever made!
posted by KokuRyu at 12:26 PM on October 7, 2013


Mary Poppins is worth it just to know that you are participating in something which drives legions of Brits wildly insane with rage, aka Dick Van Dyke's execrable accent.
posted by elizardbits at 12:32 PM on October 7, 2013 [3 favorites]


As a child I think I must have seen part of Mary Poppins and then fallen asleep or something because I was convinced until very recently that it was basically a movie about Dick Van Dyke as a one man band. I have no memory of really anything else happening.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 12:48 PM on October 7, 2013


I also feel like the hundreds of hours I spent watching Stargate have been wasted. Someone put it on a list so I can feel justified.

101 Shows Which Ran For A Lot of Seasons.





That list is kind of cheating, though, because Stargate is on it like eight times.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 12:49 PM on October 7, 2013 [1 favorite]


I saw Stargate (the movie), wish I'd walked out about halfway through.
posted by philip-random at 12:51 PM on October 7, 2013


As a child I think I must have seen part of Mary Poppins and then fallen asleep or something because I was convinced until very recently that it was basically a movie about Dick Van Dyke as a one man band. I have no memory of really anything else happening.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 3:48 PM on October 7 [+] [!]


Thank God one of us knows how to preview because we definitely almost had another GWAR situation.

Also Bulgaroktonos has neglected to mention that he revels in this disbelief and if you mention Mary Poppins he will look confused but if you say "The One-Man-Band Movie" then he gets really excited and starts talking about how great it is.
posted by Mrs. Pterodactyl at 12:52 PM on October 7, 2013 [2 favorites]


Things to see before you die:

1. Things you people wouldn't believe

2. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion

3. C-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhäuser gate
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 12:54 PM on October 7, 2013 [23 favorites]


Important now != Entertaining now. Most early efforts seem quaint now, but for the time they're original. Just like Breaking Bad will be in 10-15 years. See the TVTropes thread Seinfeld Is Unfunny.

That's always been one of my highest aspirations, to be like what was famously said about the Velvet Underground - not many people bought their records, but almost everyone who did started a band.
posted by lon_star at 12:55 PM on October 7, 2013 [1 favorite]


aw one of my very first comment fables was Ghostbusters related
posted by The Whelk at 1:00 PM on October 7, 2013


navelgazer: So which album am I supposed to listen to 1001 times before I die?

Born to Run.
posted by headnsouth at 1:00 PM on October 7, 2013 [2 favorites]


Important now != Entertaining now. Most early efforts seem quaint now, but for the time they're original. Just like Breaking Bad will be in 10-15 years. See the TVTropes thread Seinfeld Is Unfunny.

I managed to get through high school without reading anything by Kurt Vonnegut. After he died, in my late thirties, I read a couple of his books and they really didn't do much for me. I decided it was because I had read so many other things over the years that had been influenced by him that by the time I got around to actually reading him he didn't seem all that special.

That probably somehow makes me a horrible person, but at least I'm being an honest horrible person.
posted by bondcliff at 1:02 PM on October 7, 2013 [1 favorite]


The only movie I regret watching in the theater is "Freejack", starring Mick Jagger.
posted by KokuRyu at 1:08 PM on October 7, 2013 [4 favorites]


Born to Run is the album you're supposed to listen to 1001 times before you graduate high school.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 1:09 PM on October 7, 2013


which album am I supposed to listen to 1001 times before I die

Philosophy Of The World, which works out b/c then you welcome death like a thirsty person welcomes water.
posted by sandettie light vessel automatic at 1:09 PM on October 7, 2013 [2 favorites]


I managed to get through high school without reading anything by Kurt Vonnegut. After he died, in my late thirties, I read a couple of his books and they really didn't do much for me. I decided it was because I had read so many other things over the years that had been influenced by him that by the time I got around to actually reading him he didn't seem all that special.

That probably somehow makes me a horrible person, but at least I'm being an honest horrible person.


That is how I feel about Catch 22. I've read the top 30 books on the BBC's Big Read, with the exception of Catch 22 which I've started it many times and hated the humour of (and actually I have to read War & Peace still, but I intend to get to it). I can't read it. My boyfriend, who's 11 years older than I am, thinks I'm damaged for this, but I think it's because I grew up with a humour style that drew from that and now that seems kind of old school, kind of in the way (and I'm going to get a lot of gasps for this, I know!) Monty Python does. Sure, it's funny, I guess, but not side-splittingly so. Sorry.
posted by urbanlenny at 1:16 PM on October 7, 2013 [1 favorite]


The only movie I regret watching in the theater is "Freejack", starring Mick Jagger.

I regret many movies I saw in the theatre when I lived abroad, mostly because the ones that were subbed (it is presumably far less expensive, so sub movies were the standard for non-primary languages like catalan) were not usually the ones that were very awesome. The one which sticks out the most was Deep Rising, from which we were noisily ejected for throwing candy at the screen and BOOOing in various languages.

Freejack looks even worse.

posted by elizardbits at 1:18 PM on October 7, 2013 [1 favorite]


I saw all three Star Wars prequels in the theater. I have only myself to blame.
posted by Ber at 1:24 PM on October 7, 2013


[Some Like It Hot] is a silly piece of fluff with over-the-top acting and a ridiculous premise.

It's a Billy Wilder pic about two cross-dressed men in a women's band fleeing gangsters. Of course it's silly, ridiculous, and over-the-top. That's what makes it so great. (It isn't just that, I realize. And I'd more likely hate than like any remake.)

Most early efforts seem quaint now, but for the time they're original. Just like Breaking Bad will be in 10-15 years. See the TVTropes thread Seinfeld Is Unfunny.

This works both ways. Sometimes humor is funny because we know what followed. When I laugh at a Keaton or Chaplin routine I'm also laughing at how it's echoed down the decades. The cavemen in Keaton's Three Ages are hilarious because they're every caveman cliche from there to GEICO (Buster Keaton with a Beatles mop-top on a dinosaur? What is up with that?) and the chariot race in the same movie mocks Griffith and Heston.

In principle at least, I like recommendations from someone who knows more about a topic than I do, even if I never follow any of them.
posted by octobersurprise at 1:29 PM on October 7, 2013


I started putting together a rough version of my 100 things to do before you die in a free weekend idea... highly subjective, as you'd expect, and while most of it's available on youtube and other sites, you'll have to spend time acquiring the stuff. But here's Friday evening's schedule, after which you'll already start feeling very loopy:

1. The Clash - "Death or Glory" - 3:55
2. Guy Maddin - "Heart of the World" - 6:19
3. Jason Rohrer - Passage 20:00
4-5. James Joyce - The Dead / Steve Reich - Music For 18 Musicians - 68:01
6-7. My Bloody Valentine - "When You Sleep", "Sometimes" - 9:00
8-9. Kafka - In the Penal Colony / Wire - Pink Flag 35:37
10. "Un Chien Andalou" - 15:50
11-13. Guided By Voices - "Motor Away", "Game of Pricks", "I Am a Scientist" - 6:00
14. Beckett - "Texts For Nothing" #1-3 / Arvo Part - "Spiegel Im Spiegel" - 9:10
15. Terrence Malick - Days of Heaven - 94:00
16. Music video - Michel Gondry / Bjork - "Bachelorette" - 5:20
17. Velvet Underground - "Sunday Morning", "Heroin" - 10:00
18-19. Borges - "The LIbrary of Babel" - / Penderecki - "Threnody for the Victims of Hiroshima" 8:30
20. Stan Brakhage - "Mothlight" - 3:25

~4.5 hours

I'm tempted to finish a full weekend and make a blog post out of it.
posted by naju at 1:39 PM on October 7, 2013 [9 favorites]


The only movie I regret watching in the theater is "Freejack", starring Mick Jagger.

I can think of a few movies I regret watching in the theater, but the one I regret the most is First Knight.
posted by octobersurprise at 1:42 PM on October 7, 2013


I regret having seen The Doors in the theater.

I do not regret having seen Biodome in the theater.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 1:44 PM on October 7, 2013


The only movie I regret watching in the theater is "Freejack", starring Mick Jagger.

I, too, did this! What a waste! I would add to this list Mad Dog Time, one of the worst uses of a great cast ever.

Actually I was a little bummed on reading the article that he backhanded Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans away like he did, but the way he phrased it was decent enough. "Watch them if you want, but you don't have to." Hard to argue. But still, I think watching Sunrise will improve most people's lives in some way, or at the very least improve their understanding of the history of film and their appreciation of the value of obsolete media. Also it's full of eye-boggling camera tricks, some achieved with bizarrely constructed sets and tiny extras.

He's right, though. By all means, watch it if you want, but you don't have to. It's great.
posted by Ice Cream Socialist at 1:44 PM on October 7, 2013 [1 favorite]


I inherited a set of the Harvard Classics and dropped those like a bad habit at a yard sale. Ugh. Wouldn't really matter what was in there, put it between tooled green leather covers and call it the Harvard Classics and reading it will feel like taking cod liver oil.
posted by HotToddy at 1:47 PM on October 7, 2013


101 Comments to Read Before I Die
posted by incomple at 1:47 PM on October 7, 2013 [1 favorite]


Born to Run is the album you're supposed to listen to 1001 times before you graduate high school.

That's American Idiot.
posted by headnsouth at 1:49 PM on October 7, 2013


Everybody should try to have sex before they die.

Preferably with comedic mishaps in the attempt!
posted by Navelgazer at 2:01 PM on October 7, 2013


"The Seven Douchebags You'll Meet In Heaven"
posted by thelonius at 2:17 PM on October 7, 2013


You must watch the anime Girls und Panzer. Believe me, you'll be glad you did. (How can you resist a show about high school girls blasting each other with main battle tanks? And no one gets hurt!)
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 2:17 PM on October 7, 2013 [1 favorite]


Has anyone adapted one of those 1000 things lists into a romantic comedy yet?
posted by Artw at 2:24 PM on October 7, 2013 [2 favorites]


You have to provide the answers that are both correct and chosen by as few people as possible.

This is also the principal rule for an excellent and long-running series of contests in rec.puzzles, the Rare Entries contests by Mark Brader. The most recent one, MSB77, ended on August 25 this year.
posted by stebulus at 2:28 PM on October 7, 2013 [2 favorites]


After all, reading and watching and listening isn't just a passive sorting of art into "art I like" and "art I don't like" -- in part you are changing yourself, and what you like, by engaging with the art. That's part of what it's for!

I'm all for challenging yourself. I've read a bunch of the novels that are supposed to do that. But there are limits, and I feel like my tastes are pretty well cemented and there is classic, genius-level work that is just not for me.

Even if you just watch and read Great Works you're still going to miss a lot: why labor through Gargantua and Pantagruel if it comes at the expense of time you could be devoting to Ovid?

In my field, there is always too much to read, and sometimes I am literally choosing between reading the new hot thing and reading an old classic. So my decision is more like: why read this new secondary scholarship on Machiavelli when I could just reread the Discourses on Livy? And that's when it's useful to just read until you you realize it's not worth it.

Also, I think very little literature can actually change you when you get out of adolescence and young adulthood. I hope I am wrong about this last claim, though, so I mostly mention it to be proven wrong.
posted by anotherpanacea at 2:33 PM on October 7, 2013 [3 favorites]


I saw all three Star Wars prequels in the theater. I have only myself to blame.
My Gen-X coworkers and I ordered advance tickets for a 3 AM showing of The Phantom Menace at the Fox Theater in Westwood. As we stumbled out into the grey dawn we all exchanged a knowing look which said "Let us never speak of this again."

Yet apparently it had served as some kind of rite of passage and/or bonding ritual; when Attack of the Clones came out we had all moved on to other companies, but decided that we needed to reunite for the occasion. The hype was considerably deflated and getting into a theater at a sane hour on opening night was no problem. As we left the theater we said, "Well, it was marginally better than the first one."

By the time Revenge of the Sith came out I was on the other side of the country, so a second reunion was not to be for me... but my new east coast Gen-X coworkers and I still dragged ourselves to the premiere out of some sense of duty, like Arthur Holmwood driving the stake through Lucy Westenra's heart.
posted by usonian at 2:44 PM on October 7, 2013 [2 favorites]


Has anyone adapted one of those 1000 things lists into a romantic comedy yet?

A Thousand Things To Do Before You Die and a Bride and a Baby, Wonderfully!
posted by Devils Rancher at 2:55 PM on October 7, 2013


500 Days of Somewhere We Had To Be Before We Died.
posted by Artw at 2:56 PM on October 7, 2013


Guys, don't forget sex. Everybody should try to have sex before they die.

Try, you say.

*checks that off the list*
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 3:01 PM on October 7, 2013 [2 favorites]


Is Dr. Strangelove a comedy? I certainly laughed. That's pre-1969.

I didn't even realize it was satire the first time I saw it. I was sitting there thinking, "This is really stupid" to myself. Then about an hour or so in, I "got" it and started laughing.
posted by infinitywaltz at 3:13 PM on October 7, 2013 [1 favorite]


"I would recommend checking out YouTube if you have not already."

Luckily, all the really important videos there say YOU MUST SEE THIS in the title.
posted by jiawen at 3:29 PM on October 7, 2013 [2 favorites]


You could not get me to sit through Mary Poppins or Swiss Family Robinson.

If you don't watch Mary Poppins, how are you going to rewrite the lyrics of the song "Step In Time" to obtain the valuable child toilet-training song "Poopin Time" that will make your child sing and dance with the excitement of musical toilet time? You must do this before you die, otherwise you will die with your grown child still in diapers obviously.
posted by medusa at 3:55 PM on October 7, 2013 [2 favorites]


metafilter: The 7 Kinds of Guilt You Can Avoid By Not Reading Clickbait


hope I haven't run afoul of the generating criteria
posted by hearthpig at 4:24 PM on October 7, 2013


If they ever want to swim with you, I'm sure they'll let you know

This has happened to me. It was exciting and, to be honest, kind of scary. It's rather ingrained to be scared of fins in the water even when it's attached to a sleek dolphin. So there was more girly squealing than probably strictly necessary when one of the dolphins that decided to come swim with the humans that day came right over and circled closely around us, pausing to lean sideways and give me a thorough looking over out of one clearly intelligent eye on the way past.
posted by shelleycat at 4:35 PM on October 7, 2013 [2 favorites]


I just keep a list of things I want to do after I die.

1 (and only). Have a bot programmed to send my friends and family messages at random intervals between midnight and three AM. The messages will consist of content such as:
I know what you did.
HE COMES
Look behind you
Seven days.
posted by Mr. Bad Example at 5:22 PM on October 7, 2013 [1 favorite]


So which album am I supposed to listen to 1001 times before I die?

Led Zeppelin IV. Fortunately for me I managed to check this one off the summer after 8th grade.
posted by Daily Alice at 5:24 PM on October 7, 2013 [2 favorites]


But there are limits, and I feel like my tastes are pretty well cemented …
...Also, I think very little literature can actually change you when you get out of adolescence and young adulthood. I hope I am wrong about this last claim, though, so I mostly mention it to be proven wrong.


You are way too young for this line of thinking and hopefully will change before it’s too late. That applies to everyone.
posted by bongo_x at 5:37 PM on October 7, 2013 [2 favorites]


Also:

There's nothing to obligate you to finish a book that you're not into

This is one of those lessons I learned embarrassingly late in life. Up until recently, if I started a book, I had to by GOD slog through it to the end, because that is the responsible and adult thing to do.

Then...then I tried to read Dan Brown's The Lost Symbol. It was morbid curiosity, really. Surely, I thought, he must have improved since The Da Vinci Code. (I'm prone to bouts of unwarranted optimism.) I grabbed a copy and began to read.

I made it about fifty pages in past torrents of "Renowned curator Jacques Saunière staggered through the vaulted archway of the museum's Grand Gallery"-level prose before his female lead actually started seriously talking about things like noetic science and influencing random number generators by wishing really, really hard. Then, like a thudding, leadenly-written Dan Brown epiphany it came to me: I don't have to finish reading this stupid goddamned thing.

I threw it across the room (well, okay, closed it and erased it from my phone) and felt a great weight lifted off my shoulders. It was liberating.
posted by Mr. Bad Example at 5:38 PM on October 7, 2013 [3 favorites]


I am, however, about thirty hours into watching the full thirteen seasons of King of the Hill. When I get to the end of series 13, I might just start again at series 1.

I just like it.


KOTH is a gem. It's one of the more artful shows I've spent time watching where the characters are both caricature and fully-formed human beings, both ridiculous and lovable. Like normal people.
posted by weston at 5:44 PM on October 7, 2013 [1 favorite]


Born to Run is the album you're supposed to listen to 1001 times before you graduate high school.

I've probably listened to Born to Run about 1001 times in the past month.
posted by Coatlicue at 6:16 PM on October 7, 2013


I try to keep up with all the cool TV, but admittedly I'm only on season three of Breaking Bad. That said, people are still annoyed that I've never seen Freaks & Geeks. I CAN'T WATCH EVERYTHING EVER MADE.

I will stop reading books, but I will never walk out of a film or a play.
posted by crossoverman at 6:58 PM on October 7, 2013


The thing to remember about old movies is that even the most popular still had plenty of folks who didn't like them at the time. So if you don't like say "Bringing Up Baby" it may be because you have similar taste in films as all the folks who hated it in 1938, rather than because it somehow doesn't translate to modern sensibilities. Many of those folks may have vastly preferred "It" too.

It took me a while to realize this, and I think most people don’t think that way because it’s always presented as "everyone was like this", which is pretty ridiculous. Many years from now you will all have to explain to young people why you were a Tea Party supporter and loved Miley Cyrus. I’m already tired of people in their 20’s telling how it was in the 80’s and 90’s when inevitably I or anyone I know didn’t listen to the music or do the things cited.
posted by bongo_x at 8:38 PM on October 7, 2013


TV/Movies I have not seen:

Star Wars
Star Trek
Breaking Bad
Die Hard (any of them)
The Big Bang Theory
Lost

Leave me alone.
posted by Salamander at 9:51 PM on October 7, 2013 [1 favorite]


/does not know how Christmas is possible without Die Hard.
posted by Artw at 10:08 PM on October 7, 2013 [3 favorites]


the first Die Hard was okay. Not good enough to get me interested in any sequels. Sequels always suck.


usually
posted by philip-random at 10:59 PM on October 7, 2013


Some like it Hot is great, His Girl Friday is better. I don't know why the latter doesn't show up on more lists to be honest. That said, I think lists and recommendations can be off putting. If people hadn't sold Breaking Bad as the greatest drama ever I might have enjoyed it more. Instead I watched what starts as a depressing drama about a dick being a dick and turns slowly into a black comedy about that dick being a reasonably awesome dick, then segues into one of the stupidest plot developments in the history of drama (air traffic controller)... I think I'd have been fairer to it if I hadn't come to it with expectations.

Its like when you show your significant other a movie/show you love and then watch them constantly to check that they like the thing you love an appropriate amount. Of course you're ignoring here that

a-you fell in love with that movie/show while growing up, when its emotional content was heightened by your current circumstances
b-You didn't watch it with someone testing you to check that you liked it enough.

Still... why didn't he/she laugh at that bit? Thats hilarious! Thats the funniest moment in television/film! Is he/she an emotionless robot? Are you dating an emotionless robot? Now they're looking at you. Why aren't they watching the film? They're missing the best part! Stop trying to kiss me, the big emotional speech is being made!
posted by Cannon Fodder at 12:53 AM on October 8, 2013


These kind of lists always make me feel vaugly guilty about having never seen The Godfather or the Sopranos. I am sorry, but stories about the Mafia and mobsters bore the shit out of me. If I ever get around to watching them I will probably recognize the parts that have infiltrated pop culture, and who knows, I might even enjoy them. But I just never have gotten around to it, mainly because it feels like something I should do rather than want to do. Kind of like floosing.
posted by weathergal at 1:05 AM on October 8, 2013 [1 favorite]


Threads like this always remind me of a test my English teacher gave the class in about the Fifth Year. We each got a mimeographed sheet of A4 paper* which bore a long list of instructions, starting
1. Read through all the instructions before doing anything.
before running through a range of activities - make a mark in the top left-hand corner of the paper, do some simple arithmatic, spell "cat" correctly, that sort of thing - before reaching the final instruction half-way down page 2:
24. Ignore all the instructions above, put your pencil down and relax.
I suppose it was intended to teach us something about remaining alert in exam situations. I expect it was actually supposed to suggest something about the wit and wisdom of my English teacher. But anyway.

I like Richard Osman a lot. I've started to binge-watch from the week's Pointless on Friday and Saturday nights after the dumb movie and catching up with Only Connect (when it's on). The main draw of the programme is the relationship between Osman (who sits behind a desk and quotes facts) and Alexander Armstrong (who is the actual host, and stands up and does greeting and occasional walking around if anyone wins a lot of money) - they manage to keep up this banter between people who've obviously known each other for a very long time, but not in an exclusive way. They're also very nice, apparantly genuinely so. I mean, obviously they process a lot of contestants a week, so the people themselves probably become a blur and I doubt any single individual sticks in their consciousness for very long, but their intention to be pleasant and kind comes across as genuine. Which is good, partly because they have to have a number of ways of gently telling people that they're not only wrong but stunningly so and partly because the programme is (inadvertantly) cruel to contestants in two particular ways.

Firstly, many of the contestants probably shouldn't be on a quiz show at all - I'm sure a lot of it is down to the strangeness of the situation and staring into those bright lights, but I'm often finding myself shouting at the television, amazed at what people don't know (while remaining strangely quiet about the things I don't know). They are doubtless better people than I, but they seem a strange fit for a quiz programme in the same way that I - fifty and unfit, with bad knees and minimal upper body strength - wouldn't be an ideal candidate for Gladiators. This is largely dealt with by having an attitude that a contestant who gets the answers right is triumphant, but one who gets them wrong is merely unlucky. And quite right, actually, because if you think about it that's the way things actually are.

Secondly, though, there's something in the way the show is made - perhaps it's the lighting (they seem to flood the studio with slightly coloured light in a way they don't on something like The Weakest Link or Millionaire), perhaps the HD cameras or something - but they make the contestants look very strange. It's just the way that people normally are, but people aren't normally under a magnifying glass like this. I can't pin down what it is, but watching one episode I'm aware that they look a bit odd, after two or three they drift into David Lynch territory and if I get through a whole week's run in one sitting, by the end of it they seem monstrous. I hasten to add that I'm no oil painting myself,** and I do think it's partly the lights and partly the way that people who work on TV have worked to get rid of their idiosyncrasies before the cameras, but those who just wander on will have their twitchy, asymmetrical habits in full effect. It is disconcerting, though.

None of which should be counted against Mr Osman, of whom, as I've mentioned, I'm a great fan.

*Remember mimeographed sheets? Always a livid shade of purple, smelled faintly of alcohol and gradually faded when exposed to the light. So not altogether unlike my English teacher.

**Unless you're talking about this oil painting, in which case, yes.
posted by Grangousier at 2:24 AM on October 8, 2013


Despite reading at least 100 books every year, I have rarely read all of those on those 100 lists. Perhaps because they usually include Martin Amis.
posted by mippy at 2:26 AM on October 8, 2013 [2 favorites]


Also, I watch TV when I'm sewing or crocheting, so even if I've spent 67hrs watching something, at least I'll have a doily at the end of it.
posted by mippy at 2:27 AM on October 8, 2013 [2 favorites]


It would be interesting to see a Breaking Bad coincident doily. Possibly it would look like one of those webs spiders weave under the influence of LSD.
posted by Grangousier at 2:29 AM on October 8, 2013 [1 favorite]


Well, you can make your own Walt!

The downside, though, is I don't watch enough foreign films. I can't follow a pattern and read subtitles at the same time. Breaking Bad has them, but I speak some Spanish so I can usually work it out. I was going to watch Potiche tonight, then I realised I have to finish a present for someone. Dammit.
posted by mippy at 2:38 AM on October 8, 2013


Kickstarter idea - an LED readout you can put near the floor that displays subtitles along with a movie for those moments you can't keep your eyes on the screen. Come on, SCIENCE, you can't let us down now.
posted by Grangousier at 3:29 AM on October 8, 2013


by the end of it they seem monstrous.

My mother and her friend were on Pointless a few seasons ago. They came very close to winning (damn that one person who knew Verdi operas as well!) My mother wears an astonishing amount of make up because the make up lady decided to make her a special project. She doesn't look bad, but her eyes are somewhat remarkable at the end of the process.

As you might anticipate, they film several episodes at once, with the families of the contestants being invited to leave early if their contestant gets knocked out (my mother had invited a huge group of people, which led to a very amusing moment when she lost on the first show and half of the audience in the family section left). They also film various stock reactions, including:

"Oh no, a 100 score! Sympathetic clap..."
"Hoorah, a pointless answer, enthusiastic clap!"
"Richard and Alexander have said something funny, enthusiastic laugh!"
"Richard and Alexander have said something not terribly funny, half hearted laugh/groan"

All great fun, and filmed at the BBC TV centre before it shut. As family you get to skip the queue, which makes one feel somewhat like a VIP. We also got the revelation from Richard Osman between takes that his laptop doesn't, in fact, show anything and is just set dressing. My wife and I are very briefly in shot, giving a sympathetic clap to a contestant who scored 100. Which is quite impressive, considering we had left at that point...
posted by Cannon Fodder at 3:42 AM on October 8, 2013


Freejack looks even worse.

Ah, but upthread you mentioned , elizardbits, that Mary Poppins is worth watching because of Dick Van Dyke's accent. Freejack is our return of serve.

For my sins, I got a street copy in Thailand for $1 when it came out so I've watched it more than once. I'd firmly classify it in the so bad it's still bad territory. But it is another level of entertainment to work out what accent Mick Jagger thinks he's doing. One day they'll write books about it. Men with beards and patch elbow jackets will discuss it amongst the great themes of transatlantic relations like the War of Independence, Lend-Lease, NATO and the Special Relationship.
posted by MuffinMan at 4:32 AM on October 8, 2013


It would be interesting to see a Breaking Bad coincident doily. Possibly it would look like one of those webs spiders weave under the influence of LSD.

I knit and crochet, and I have yet to watch Breaking Bad. I might do this.
posted by Metroid Baby at 4:49 AM on October 8, 2013 [1 favorite]


These kind of lists always make me feel vaugly guilty about having never seen The Godfather or the Sopranos. I am sorry, but stories about the Mafia and mobsters bore the shit out of me.

Yes. As well as Serial Killer movies.

I will watch a move about subjects that don’t interest me because a good film will make it interesting. But it seems mob and serial killer movies start with the assumption that you’re fascinated with the subject. I’m not, it’s slightly less interesting than your vacation stories or how your child’s potty training is going. I watched The Godfather many years ago just so I could stop hearing people say "I can’t believe you haven’t seen The Godfather!" I don’t really remember anything about it, I didn’t hate it, it just made almost no impression on me. The Conversation is a much better Coppola film.

I do remember thinking Goodfellas was pretty good back in the day though.
posted by bongo_x at 9:03 AM on October 8, 2013 [2 favorites]


I'm working on this whilst watching Breaking Bad. It's a bit incongruous to be doing cheery lettering while someone is being methed to death on the TV.
posted by mippy at 9:06 AM on October 8, 2013


bongo_x, I'm with you on the serial killers but not the mob movies.

A good mob movie (and yeah, The Godfather is that) ends up telling us a lot about how the world works (ie: capitalism with the mask off). But, to my mind there are no good serial killer movies, because to be interesting to moviegoers or TV watchers, a serial killer must essentially be false. Or more to the point, real life serial killers are desperately dull, ordinary people who do not plot their killings via the alignment of the stars or the middle names of the 19th Century Presidents, they're just guys (mostly) who can't really get their kicks any other way. There is nothing interesting about them. So screenwriters etc get creative ...

Dexter, to me, is the nadir of the kind of stuff. A completely unbelievable premise which gets magnitudes worse when it turns out, he's going head to head with another serial killer who's even more evil (yup, one of those alignment-of-the-stars-or-the-middle-names-of-the-19th-Century-Presidents types). I mean, I could've bought it if they'd presented it as broad BLACK absurd comedy. But nah, they went for intense, believable drama.

Of course, I only made it through three episodes of the first season, so maybe it got better.
posted by philip-random at 9:43 AM on October 8, 2013


Re: Serial Killers

There is nothing interesting about them.

You know, I tend to agree with your theory about screenwriters getting creative with serial killer facts, but the idea you couldn't do an interesting realistic serial killer film just seems false to me. I mean, I know ZODIAC was mostly about the people tracking the Zodiac killer, but that was pretty realistic.

Of course, I only made it through three episodes of the first season, so maybe it got better.

This is the sort of thing I'd expect from someone who only watched three episodes and then wrote off a show, but it's hard to defend DEXTER - since it went so far off the rails about halfway through its run.

Different people running the show thought of Dexter the character differently. Showtime thought the character was closer to Batman than Jeffrey Dahmer - and that's how the show played him after a while. But very early on the showrunner and Michael C Hall wanted to play him straight - as someone with an absolute drive to kill. Sure, it was heightened reality - but so is most TV drama.
posted by crossoverman at 3:12 AM on October 9, 2013


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